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Disliking Pork May Be Due to Gene Sequence, Scientists Say

New research has found a genetic variation that determines how humans respond to the smell of pork.


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There are numerous ethical and health reasons for giving up pork, but according to a new study published in science journal PLos One, having an aversion to the meat may actually be genetic. Investigating the relationship between odor perception and food preferences, scientists have identified a gene that determines whether androstenone—a compound similar to testosterone found in male pigs—smells offensive or sweet. Because many male pigs in the US and Europe are castrated prior to slaughter, few consumers are currently exposed to androstenone. However, in light of the European Union considering a ban on the cruel practice, researchers say more consumers could soon find themselves with a sudden distaste for male pig meat.

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